January 9, 2017
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Federal Issues

Congress debates Affordable Care Act repeal; repeal could affect up to 750,000 Washingtonians

Whether it's "Repeal and Replace" or "Repeal and Delay," all signs are that major changes are coming for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. Congress is looking at keeping some of the more popular facets of the insurance reform law, but there are more ideas on the table now than consensus.

In Washington state, changes to, or a repeal of, the ACA could affect hundreds of thousands of people. The Spokesman-Review reports that a complete repeal of Obamacare and the federal money attached to it could affect health insurance for 750,000 Washingtonians. Last year Washington received $2.7 billion in federal Medicaid money under the ACA, which is estimated to increase to $3 billion this year.

Statewide, the uninsured rate in Washington has dropped from 14 percent before the ACA to 5.8 percent now.

Gov. Jay Inslee and Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler sent a letter to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in December saying it would be a "moral outrage" to repeal the health care policies of the ACA.

For more information on health care issues, contact Government Affairs Director Sheri Nelson at 360.943.1600.

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Sustainability in Action

Port Townsend Paper: Renewable and Responsible Fiber Products

By Washington Business magazine

Port Townsend Paper recycles enough cardboard each week to cover a football field 10 feet deep. That chain of renewable paper production includes fiber sourced from certified and sustainable forestry operations for any needs that can't be met by recycled paper.

The company is also an emissions reduction leader. Port Townsend Paper has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent over the past decade by reducing the use of fossil fuels, efficiency improvements, and use of renewable and carbon-neutral biomass.
Read the full article in Washington Business magazine
Rural Washington Is Still Trying to Recover

Don't let McCleary hurt rural economy

By AWB President Kris Johnson

We are a hopeful and hard-working nation. We have proved time and time again that when we come together, we are unstoppable.

After the difficult national election, we believe this is the message that can help move our nation and state forward. And we believe employers are the solution to help heal the divide and restore hope to communities still awaiting the economic recovery.

Employers -- the millions of risk-takers that create opportunity and build communities across this nation -- have a unique responsibility to ensure we send a message that we are committed to be a unifying voice that can, with words and actions, unify the country behind our shared goals.
Read the full op-ed in The Puget Sound Business Journal
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